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Report: Bristol Flyers Women 84-63 Anglia Ruskin University

Bristol Flyers Women overcame early difficulties against troublesome Anglia Ruskin University at the weekend to emerge with their biggest win of the season so far.

The Flyers came into the game with a lot of momentum, having defeated reigning league champions Team Solent Kestrels 47-52 in Eastleigh the week before.  Anglia Ruskin meanwhile, had only seven players arriving at WISE for them on the day, but they weren’t prepared to let their being shorthanded set them back.


What happened

Anglia Ruskin opened the scoring with a three-pointer, but after three minutes of play the Flyers took their first lead of the game with a floating layup by Camille Francis, who then found Liisa Juul wide open in the paint for another bucket. Juul then added a three-pointer, to which Giulia Bartesaghi responded for Anglia Ruskin with a three of her own from even further out. This, along with ARU’s ability to navigate the Flyers’ defence, gave them back the lead.

Alert defence from the Flyers, led by Francis and Hannah Till, allowed them to go on a ten-point scoring run, which included two more three-pointers from Juul, and after falling behind twice in the quarter, the Flyers finished 24-15 ahead.

Anglia Ruskin started to find more open looks as the second quarter got underway, but paid for their failure to guard Hannah Wallace, who went on a five-point scoring run to maintain a healthy lead for the Flyers. Wallace would finish the game with a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds.

Well-executed plays and continued great form on defence from the Flyers unfortunately were not resulting in any points. This allowed Anglia Ruskin to keep finding scoring chances which, with two minutes to go in the half, closed the gap to one – and they could have had the lead if not for some quick defensive rebounding from the Flyers.

Juul eased the tension with a corner three to stretch the gap back out, and Francis made a fast-break two on the team’s final play of the half. With both teams looking determined out on the floor, it was still anyone’s game going into the second half, though the Flyers led 40-35.

A good start to the third quarter for the Flyers, with four points from close range, was ultimately undone by Anglia Ruskin’s tough interior defence and outside shooting, which again narrowed the gap to one. The Flyers’ shooting from the foul line helped them edge their lead out and make it a two-possession game.

A long scoring drought followed as both sides worked hard not to make any mistakes, and with three minutes to go Chiara Cartasegna made a three-pointer for Anglia Ruskin, which tied the scores. Juul almost immediately responded with a three of her own, followed by more outside shots from Molly James and Hannah Wallace as time in the third quarter ticked down.

Having prevented a turnaround from their opponents, the Flyers then went on the warpath, opening the fourth quarter with a 12-point run. James and Juul dominated this final stage of the game for the Flyers, with James consistently delivering from close range and Juul highly accurate from outside the arc on her way to finish the game with 28 points.

Through tough interior play, good ball handling and teamwork, the Flyers completely shut out Anglia Ruskin and kept the points coming. Katarzyna Neiningr ended this big run for the Flyers, whose lead had reached a game-high 27 points following a high-arcing three from Sandra Yebdri. With just over two minutes to go, Anglia Ruskin resorted to drawing fouls, but it was too late to make any difference to the result.

This rounded out a terrific victory for the Flyers, in which four players scored in double figures, they had 34 points off the bench and managed a highly impressive 17 steals, and the score line ending 84-63 in their favour.

“We couldn’t allow any room for complacency” head coach Gareth Till told bristolflyers.co.uk.

“Anglia Ruskin haven’t won a game this season, but you can never underestimate a team in that form.

“Our confidence is high, but no matter how many points we’re up, you have to concentrate.

“We had a really good idea that Anglia were going to play zone defence and we had to adjust during practice to make sure we were in set on the offensive end.  We got the most disadvantages from their game today and managed to knock quite a few down from outside.

 

“We didn’t have a great first half, and in the second our defence really paid off, and that really opened up the offensive end, which is why we were able to break away in the second half.”

Gareth Till

The next home game for the Flyers Women will be against Southwark Pride at the SGS WISE Arena on Saturday, November 18th at 5.30pm.

Bristol Flyers Women are always on the lookout for new players, coaches and volunteers.  Anybody who's interested and committed is always welcome to join the Flyers Family. Contact Flyers Women at flyerswomen@gmail.com 


About the contributor

Written by Jack Ford. A recent member of the Flyers Family, Jack has been volunteering with Bristol Flyers writing game reports on Flyers Women for the website and game day programme.